If you came over from Encouragement for Today, welcome. In today’s devo, I shared about seeing an elderly couple and what God spoke to me as I did. I want to take that a little deeper with you today. ~ Suzie
I don’t often talk about marriage.
I’m not an expert or counselor about the topic of marriage. I don’t believe in formulas. I believe every marriage is different, and I haven’t walked in your shoes so I don’t dare try to speak into your relationship.
Yet, after 38 years of living with a guy I really like, there have been times that I’ve knelt and asked God for help. I hope it’s OK that we talk about that together.
Me sharing my story. You sharing yours. Praying together.
The following are three things I’ve learned along the way.
Sometimes marriage is hard
Marriage can be difficult. I’m not talking about “cheating” hard, but day-to-day hard. When finances get tight and you are both doing everything you know to do. When you are parenting and you think one way about a situation, and your spouse sees it different. When you used to feel close, but the intimacy has slipped away somehow.
When marriage is hard, we might be tempted to see only the challenges, and yet it’s been helpful for me to ask these questions.
Do I see us as a team, or am I in this for myself?
What good do I find in this man I love?
How can we fight this together?
When I ask those questions, it includes the man I love in the battle.
When I write down the good, it balances my right-now feelings.
When I trust God that we are worth fighting for, it shifts the battle from a me-centered fight to a partnership.
Sometimes we give everyone else the good stuff
The other night I slipped in beside my husband at the end of the day. I lay in his arms and we talked. I’m goofiest when I’m with Richard, and before long we were both laughing.
He said, “If only everyone else could see this side of you.”
Just writing that makes me feel a little vulnerable, because it’s so private. Yet, here’s the truth. I don’t want to give the best of me to everyone else and what’s left to the people I love.
Every single day I’m ministering in some way. Writing books. Blogging. Creating messages and teaching. Leading Bible studies. When I’m doing these things, it’s an act of worship and I love it. The downside is there’s deadlines, juggling multiple tasks, and sometimes there’s pressure (as in any job). I could easily pour out and pour out to others, and bring the teaspoon I have left over and hand it to my husband or my family.
Sadly, I can say there are times that has happened.
When I’m in that place, it’s time to examine my life and my priorities. Not just examine it, but be willing to adjust.
Who is receiving the best of me?
Am I out of balance?
Are there changes that need to be made?
I don’t want to be nice to everyone else, and cruddy to Richard. I don’t want to look back one day and see that I lived out of balance in my relationships. More than anyone else, I want my family to have received the good from me — including the goofiness that they both love and groan about.
Am I refreshing or depressing?
Last, I’ve learned that I can be refreshing, or depressing. Though my nature leans toward the positive, there are times it dips in the other direction. That can look like:
- critical words
- passive-agressive replies
- silence that hurts
We really do have a choice in this.
The other night Richard was sharing a disappointment. It weighed heavy on him. I could think of a few things that I thought would help. I could also think of a few negatives that he hadn’t considered. He needed neither of those.
He needed “refreshing” – to reinvigorate, replenish, revive, breathe new life into, cheer. Rather than the opposite — to discourage, break, dull, hurt, depress, shut down.
After listening, I simply said, “I believe in you, babe.”
In that exact moment, he needed to know that I was with him in the battle. We’d talk more in-depth later, but all he needed was to be refreshed.
I’m not talking about enabling, or coddling someone in poor behavior. That’s a different post for a different day. Instead, it’s asking this question:
Am I depressing or refreshing?
Right now. In this conversation. In this day-to-day interaction. Which have I chosen?
How can I intentionally refresh this one I love?
Refreshing looks at the situation and the person from their side of the sidewalk. It’s seeing their battles. It’s acknowledging who they are as a person — all the goodness that lives inside of them. It’s being truthful, but with mercy, grace, love, and a total lack of selfish ambition in your words and actions.
Depressing is knowing the words that will discourage that person, and using them lavishly. It’s pulling away, waiting for that one to come to you to make things right when you are both in the wrong. It’s shutting down healing conversations because they are hard. It’s pushing away the leading of the Holy Spirit in that situation, or using faith to make that person feel worse (if you were a Christian, you’d. . . ).
It’s not perfect. Not for a moment. It’s choosing to refresh rather than depress. It’s an honest form of love that has give and take, but you are leaning toward the “give.”
We are in a month that talks a lot about love.
While I love receiving flowers or going to dinner, I think love is more than a day. It’s more than a month. It’s a life time of working toward the sweetest and best relationship you can have. It’s working through conflict when there seems to be no resolution. It’s saying you’re sorry. It’s forgiveness. It’s praying for that person when you really don’t feel like it.
[bctt tweet=”Most people just need us to show up. It’s not about what we say. It’s being there fully. #livingfreetogether #SpiritLedHeart https://wp.me/p4jbdw-4ub ” username=”suzanneeller”]
What is one thing you have learned about marriage? I’d love to hear it.
What is one thing that someone who does it well has shown you about marriage? I’d love to hear that too.
If your marriage is in a hard place, just say, “Pray for me.” You don’t have to give details. We’ll wrap around you and pray.
Love you big,
If you loved this one, you may also love these posts!
- 30 Creative Ways to Say I Love You
- Speaking words that heal
- Encouragement for Today devo “What I Love About You,” by Suzie Eller.
It’s 100/100 it’s saying will you forgive me and when asked for forgiveness saying those three hard works you are forgiven not sure or yea which really means no.
Yes ma’am will you please pray for me for us?
Praying for you, Mary. I pray that God be with you and surround you with His gracious love.
What a wonderful and beautiful blessing. God only knows how my heart longs to be this kind a person in every way. ❤️
My husband has recently been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. Please pray for us. I can see a new season starting in our life. As each day passes I can see a little of Jimmy slipping away. With this illness Ill have a lot more caring toI take place on my part. I also, know I will need lots of patience. When he’s asked the same question for 20 times and now he’s asked it again. When I see confusion in his face because he couldn’t find his way. I love this wonderful man. He’s took care of me and the kids for 43 years and now it’s time for me to take care of him. Pray that the Lord will give me the patience and strength I’ll to love him more each day. I’ll rejoice in the VICTORY the Lord has given us. My dad was born on Valentines Day. He was a twin too. My parents were married almost 70 years and they could never say a kind word to each other. We never heard them say the words I Love You. Their marriage worked for them but what joy they missed. Dad has been gone 3 years and day by day mom grows more bitter. I don’t know how to reach her except by example. Lord thank you for the man you sent to me first and the kids second. Amen!! Sharon
Praying for you, Sharon. May God’s presence surround every moment of your day in this journey. I pray that God provide for you the strength and patience and love you need to care for your family, your hubby and yourself.
Love your books ands insights. Would love to win this package!!!!
Please, pray for me.
Marcia, I see you. God sees you. My arms are wrapped around you. You are not alone. Thank you for your powerful words. Strong words. Healing words.
Father, I lift Marcia in your hands of love, understanding, presence, and faithfulness. I do not know the why behind her words but you do. You see her so deeply. You know her desires. Her needs. Her longings. I lift each one into your gentle hands. Wrap around Marcia. Help her feel you today. Pour over your refreshment. In Him. Amen.
Dear Susie, The sewers couldn’t preview the fully potential of a seed nurtured by Love! Thank you so much for sharing your view about marriage. By the way your seeds reached me so faraway in Brazil! Blessings on your life!
Julie, “please pray.” There is power in those two words. Gods’s power. Thank you for your step of strength to ask for prayer. As I read your two honest words (freeing words) it makes me want to reach through this computer and give you a hug. Thank you for your example of realness.
Savior, Julie needs you. She is reaching for you. She needs to feel your presence. Your love. Wrap her up in your arms. Seep in your strength and peace as she steps into her day. Remind her you are her Hope. Her true Love. You see Julie and you know why she is reaching for prayer. Thank you for all you do, Lord. Amen
one thing I’ve learned: I am selfish and it is HARD work to give up self….still working at it, going to keep working at it. I always find your words and insights refreshing Suzie…thank you. I am encouraged, inspired & generally smiling after I read one of your posts. Again….thank you.
Thank you soooo much for your words of encouragement, for sharing your heart and vulnerability – you have blessed me so I can concentrate on my hubby and I. I also would love prayer to be a refreshing spirit to those near and dear to me as well as around me.
I am looking forward to the future again. Many blessings :-* and celebrating love in Jesus name 🙂
Please pray for us. It has been a long hard road these past nine years, but God has been there and He is walking us though this season. He is bringing us into a new season, I pray that He continues to help us move forward and that He gives me the strength and patience to keep living one day at a time. Thank you for all the blessings you have given me through your teaching and sharing. Come With Me helped Him carry me through one of the roughest times I have seen. Blessings to you and your family.
Praying for your marriage, Linda! He will supply you with more than enough strength and patience, even when you question it. Rest in His hand refreshing your marriage as you move into this new season!
Pray for me.
Great reminder to be a source of refreshment to my husband. Maybe that’s why Solomon referred to wives as “cisterns”! When we allow the Holy Spirit to guide us, life-giving words and thoughtful actions will flow through us. Great post!
Thank you. I am a widow but could not agree more with you. Good words for all walks through life.
The one thing I’ve learned is to try to always tell my friends the good things about my husband instead of demeaning and complaining about him. It helps my friends and him to know that I care enough about him to respect him not only at home, but in public also.
This was the first time I read your blog, and it spoke to my heart. The heart that can forget to cherish those closest to me. Thank you for the gentle reminders on how to Love well.
Please pray for me.
Praying for you, Chris.
Thank you for sharing your heart…..it was “refreshing”!
I love the whole idea of being refreshing. I have moments of both refreshing and depressing. Time to change that. He deserves better.
Please pray for me.
Praying for you, sweet sister. I see you, God does too. ❤️
Thank you fur the reminder to not give our loved ones the crumbs of our energy and love. Also thank you for the giveaway!
Thank You for your encouraging words this morning. All too much in life we do give to others before giving to our spouses. Thank you for that reminder each and every day!
Not only is February the LOVE month because it’s V Day, it’s also our Anniversary month. We’ll be celebrating 40 years this month. I wish I could say it has gotten easier.
Thankful for reminders like this…
Your words always speak to my heart!
Please pray for me.
Praying for you, Kimberly.
I really appreciated your thoughts in this devotion. It was exactly what I needed to hear this morning, and it was refreshing. Thank you!
This post was exactly what I needed to read this morning! I am going to put this to use! Thank you so much! And win or not, I really look forward to reading your book!
This really resonated with me as I have often been the “depressing” one in the past in all of my relationships. It’s been a journey and I can say there is hope to renew your mind to a “refereshing” one. This is done through a closer walk with Him. I asked God to change my heart and when the Holy Spirit replaced all of the stone in my heart with flesh, it became easier to give praise to others. The impact of this change on my relationships has been profound! Praise Jesus!
Thank you for your encouraging words My husband and I will celebrate 3 years this April I mention that because we are in our 50’s and 60’s We both came out of abusive relationships we have found restoration and healing in Christ and live for Him . But I do need to learn and grow in refreshing him not try to help but to listen and stand on view it from his side . We love each other and excited about the journey we are on we just need to learn how to approach things from a new place not a broken and hurtful place or defensive place . Keep us in your prayers .
Thank you so much for your words and for sharing your thoughts this morning…they are very timely for me and my marriage and exactly what I needed to hear. I am thankful God lead me to your blog!
Please pray… thank you and God Bless
Please pray for me.
After nearly 18 years of marriage, I will simply ask that you pray for us. This message is most timely, and your book can only help!
Praying for you, dear Kelly. Praying that as you cling to Jesus you and your husband will let Him refresh your marriage in ways you never expected.
Please pray for me.
I am guilty of not putting my marriage first. We have 5 kids and they always came first. I was very critical of my husband and many times I didn’t show him my appreciation. I was a stay at home mom. We both worked hard, however I never accepted him for who he was. How he chose to do things and deal with issues. I could be refreshing with other people but I was mostly depressing to my husband.
This was added to my list of reasons to divorce. He was wrong in my eyes many times, instead of trying to understand him and allow him to be who he is.
There are other factors that lead to me filing for divorce, which are definitely acceptable reasons. Filing for divorce and being divorced for 3 years has allowed me to see him for who he is. It wasn’t until recently that I sat down and had an ah-ha moment. At that moment, I could fully see our relationship during our marriage. We both had our faults, no one is perfect. However, this was the first time I actually realized that I never truly accepted my husband for who he is.
I expectd a “perfect husband” instead of accepting my imperfect husband. I know I’m not perfect and I always knew I wasn’t. My husband accepted me for who I was more times than I accepted him.
Please pray for me, that I can find forgiveness in my heart for myself. I feel empty and lost without my husband, but also knowing I created this situation.
I will be praying for you, Belinda. Let God’s Word also be refreshing to your soul and to guide you in hope, love, and forgiveness. Romans 8:1
Thank you for this. Needed to hear it today!
Thank you, this is encouraging and a good question to ask ourselves. Am I refreshing or depressing? This is helpful. Good thoughts and post to share. 🍃❤️🍃
Sometimes we just get in a rut and live each day without giving our all. Thank you for this refreshing look on marriage and how to love each other better.
I’m definitely in a place where my marriage is Rocky. This hit my inbox and heart at just the right time. I’m going to share with my husband and hope it convicts him.
Praying for you, Kristen.
Thank you for the reminder to be refreshing not depressing. Just because I can say it, doesn’t mean that I should.
I’d love to win your giveaway! I was so encouraged and convicted reading your post this morning. Thank you for challenging me to love those around me with more purposeful action. Bless you!
Thank you for the reminder that it is worth the fight and effort!
be humble, kind, tenderhearted, encouraging to others in all circumstances… refreshing… great reminder! Thank you!
Suzie, thanks for the reminders about tending the fires of our marriage. Being busy with life can really be hard on intimacy and nurturing love. I was challenged by your questions. Please pray for me to be refreshing and not depressing in our life together.
Praying for you, Teri.
Pray for me
Praying for you, Brenda for God’s presence in your journey.
Thank you for sharing and being transparent in a day where everyone wears a mask. Will pray for your marriage as you pray for mines.
I am doing a loving youe husband challenge with some of my friends and it has been eye opening to how little I actually pay attention to my husband. I want to be more refreshing to him not depressing!
I have learned a lot this past year about marriage. I was the one who needed refreshing a lot because of some health issues, and this post made me tearfully aware of the ways my husband did that. Thank you
I don’t expect any relationship to be balanced. I give more, I refresh him more and as a servant of God I am okay with that, but I also need to stand up for myself and put and end to the ways he drains my joy. Please pray for my relationship.
Praying for you, Jackie. May God speak to you and be with you always.
Thank you for your wisdom and honesty!
The best place to fight for our marriages is on our knees. I don’t know a single couple who couldn’t use more prayer for their marriage, myself included. Thanks for this beautiful reminder. Two of the best lessons I’ve ever learned about marriage are to manage my expectations and communicate in a language my guy gets! Many blessings to you, Suzie, for bravely starting this conversation!
Pray for me.
Praying for you, sweet sister!
I came to your blog after reading your devotion on proverbs 31. This article was very timely as I just had this conversation with my husband about not saving the crumbs for each other. I love the real examples of how we can show our love to those we love the most.
Thanks for this devotion on marriage . I especially liked the questions you asked about marriage and making time – giving of oneself to their husband and family with all you have to give and not just with our left over time when one is very tired. From the very beginning of my husband’s and mine’s marriage we agreed to never let anger come between us – we deal with it as best we can before we go to sleep. I can’t remember the verse that tells us to do this. My husband say’s that everything looks better in the morning. Lamentations 3: 25 “Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.”
So good! Thank you for opening my eyes to the fact that I often give my husband and kids a teaspoon because I am to busy pouring out to others! God is good!
Same here. So good!
Me too! What an incredibly inspiring post, Suzie. I love all these suggestions. You have refreshed me!
Sarah, we all struggle with this. Sometimes the teaspoon we give is to ourselves. It’s simply being aware, I think, and looking for sweet ways to fill up, to give, to receive, to laugh, to slow down. I’m so thankful you joined us here today. I’m so glad you did.
Thank you for refreshing me! Your post and devo “hit the mark.” I feel mommy-hood is so intense right now (I am a SAHM to a three year old princess) that i put my marriage last and other relationships too. I need balance. I want to build intimacy with my husband again. We have no family near us to help us or spend time with. It’s tough. Please pray for me, and I am certainly praying for you. Much love!
This is soooo me too except I have recently become an “empty nester”. I always looked forward to when this day would come but MY GOODNESS!!! It’s NOTHING like what I had imagined. All of the years of being a SAHM has left my husband and myself wondering who each other even are! It’s a mess and I don’t know how to reconnect with a work-a-holic! Sometimes I wonder if I even want to try! I know I should….it’s just old habits have fossilled my abilities and “know how”! PRAY FOR ME!
Yes, Megan and Stephanie, I’ve been here too! Mommyhood is so incredibly hard — and finding that balance can be a daily struggle. Praying for our husbands and our marriages can make all the difference in the world! God sees the struggles of your hearts and He is faithful to answer! I will certainly be praying for you both. xoxoxo
I remember looking across the table at Richard when all three of ours left for college. We were only in our early 40’s. It is a new season, and I will pray for you.
Lord, thank you for this couple. Father, step into the heart of this new season. Remind them that they are not alone as they find their way to each other again. Wrap around this home and marriage, and rekindle the fire that once burned. Let laughter become a mark on this marriage. Help them slow down the pace, for our days do fly by, and find goodness in each other. Lord, we know this is hard work and yet we are not alone as we do it. Thank you for that. <3
Stephanie, we were at that point about 10 years ago. To make things worse, my husband had transferred with his work and all we had was each other. So much of our lives get wrapped up with parenting that we don’t know what to do with no ballgame to attend or school project to build or kids hanging out at our house.
What helped us tremendously was to go back and remember what we loved to do before we had kids. Things we had put off during those busy years. We love Colorado, so the first trip we took there after the kids had gone was so refreshing to our marriage. It was like, oh, yes, this is what we love to do together. That trip was a start. It took time and work and some difficult conversations to get us where we are today.
At one point, I wrote my feelings about feeling like I got crumbs from my husband down on a little sheet of paper. It was not an accusation, just what I felt. He read it and took it to heart, making valid attempts to come home earlier and be more present. He actually wore the note in his shirt pocket for a long time. I had to learn that I needed to shut down my agenda, too, when he got home. He loves for me to be present with him, too. Cooking dinner together is one fun thing we enjoy, though we both think we’re the best and banter back and forth in the process. We’d walk the dogs each night after dinner while holding hands. Home had to become a place of peace and refuge from his storms at work to give him a desire to leave work earlier. Little things and big things.
It still takes work. We get out of balance. I am not always refreshing to him. We have misunderstandings. But, we love each other dearly and enjoy being together. It was so worth pushing through to remember why we had fallen in love 42 years ago.
I’ve been there, Megan. I had three under the age of two and it was a whirlwind. : ) Motherhood is amazing and hard.
Lord, thank you for Megan and this precious three-year-old. Thank you for the goodness she pours into her family. I pray for times where she and her husband reconnect as friends and in laughter and love. Lord, I pray for a trusted friend who will offer respite from time to time so they can just talk and “be.” I pray that this sweet mama will find rest in the midst of busyness. Thank you for her desire to love well. What a gift.
I came across this suggestion last year around Valentine’s Day and I found it helpful. Every day I wrote down 1 thing that I loved about my husband. It could be something he did for me that day that was unexpected or what fulfilled an expectation without me nagging him to do it or just something like he makes me laugh or I love to hear him sing along to music even if he sings off-key because it shows his joy. I did this every day from 2/14 until 7/31 which was our 46th wedding anniversary. I gave him page after page of what I had written, trying hard not to duplicate any of them. What I found out by doing this little project was that it gave me a new appreciation for my husband. There were some days when it was easy to come up with something and other days when I struggled but I did it. When I read it aloud to him he was surprised and felt I gave him too much credit–humility was a quality I had forgotten to include! When I am perturbed with him, I try to remember the reasons why I married him in the first place.
Oh my goodness, Shirley! What a BEAUTIFUL gift! If you don’t mind, I would love to “steal” this suggestion and make it my own resolution. This year my husband and I will celebrate our 15th wedding anniversary and I can’t think of a more special way to let him know how deeply I love him — not just on the extravagant days he shows his love for me but in every little thing he does on so many in-between days which often get forgotten and overlooked. Thank you for sharing this!
Shirley, I LOVE this idea!! My husband and I are both physically challenged, and I know I feel like I fall short in what I do for him and he feels the same way. I am going to do this to show him just how special he is to me. Intimacy isn’t found in the bedroom but rather in the little things we do for each other each day. Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea!!
My husband and I have often talked about giving your best to everyone but your own family and how it should be the exact opposite. I never really payed much attention to how much I was doing that. Our first missionary field is our home!
What a breath of fresh air this was for me this morning. I love how God always gently guides us where we need to be. Thank you for your raw honesty and willingness to share what God put on your heart.
What a refreshing reminder of love! Just this morning I told my husband he had something on his neck. “What is it?”, he asked. I then gave him a quick kiss on the neck and surprised him! He got a twinkle in his eye. It was just a gentle reminder of the love I have for him and never show it enough. Your blog was such a great reminder of “refreshing” those around us. Thanks so much!
Have a blessed day! 😊
We have to show love, be love and become love at all times.
AMEN! But easier said than done. Lord, help us all to live in the light of Your love. To pour out and be filled up. To let love be our guide in every decision, every action, every thought. Renew this commitment daily. Amen.
I have found that in the Winter of life, our marriage has become more difficult than ever. However, God is walking with us, guiding us every step of the way.
In admitting this to each other, we pray diligently for the other. Thank you for this inspirational devotional. Very timely!
Thank you so much! Just what I needed today to send the positive note to my husband. He’s a pastor and has much to battle today!
Lord, we know being a Pastor’s wife can be challenging, with time needed by everyone, bless Jackie as she encourages her husband today. Pour blessing over her husband and shield them both from the enemy. Bless them bith today as they lead and bless others. In Jesus name, Amen.
My husband and I learned long ago that marriage is work but so worth it. Your devotion was a great reminder to continue to put marriage as a priority.
We all need that reminder, don’t we? I love Suzie’s heart 🙂
Pray for me
Vicki, praying alongside you. Sweet Heavenly Father, do Your thing. Shine Your light. Pour out Your love. Be present, be visible, be merciful. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.
I have been married 32 years. I’m tired. Weary. Just pray for me
28 years here… I know, it can be exhausting sometimes. Lord, wash over Vickie with Your sweet presence. Surround her home with Your love and renew and restore her like never before. Amen.
Pray for me
Courtney, praying with you. God hears your prayers and knows your need. One thing I know for sure is that He loves you. Lean on Him and keep your eyes open to see what He does.
Thank you Suzie, what a great reminder not to give what’s left to your husband and family. Great questions!!! Our children are all grown and moved, so my husband and I seem to be “growing up” together now LOL. We talk more, laugh together… not that we didn’t do it before, but it’s more often now. I have prayed to be more patient, understanding, and yes show him more love. God has given me a more patient spirit to really listen when my husband needs to talk about hard times at work, or other stuff, and I find I am listening better and pray I am refreshing to him. Thank you again, we need these reminders❤
Pray for me
Mandy, prayers are going up for you. Lord, You know the need. Inhabit this marriage like never before, and flood their home with Your love.
Mandy, Lifting ,you up in prayer this morning.
My husband and I have started just recently to attempt living our relationship with no more regrets. This was a great encouragement in that. April
What a nourishing message <3 Thank you!
Pray for me God help me to love
Alicia, Praying you feel the tremendous love that God has for you, that he will remind you of his love today and it will help you to love others.
Pray for me
Praying for you right now Blanca-God knows the details and I am trusting Him for the guidance you seek.
I’ve learned that marriage is about commitment first. To God, and to my husband. Love doesn’t bring about commitment. Commitment brings about love, and knowing that you can trust someone as you go through the hard things of life, just brings you into a closer, deeper relationship. It seems we’ve always been going through something in our lives together. But God has used it to help us love each other more. We don’t even realize it until someone comments about us holding hands and or wanting a relationship like that. I love hearing that from others because that always seems to come when I don’t “feel” we are as close. But it remind me God is blessing us.
My marriage inspiration is from my two grandmothers. I love my grandparents, but my grandfathers – both of them – were difficult people, and my grandmothers endured a lot in their marriages. But I remember one of my grandmother’s saying, after my grandfather had died, what a good life they had. We knew what we saw on the outside, but I never heard her complain. Not once. When she said this, her grandchildren (18 of us + spouses and great-grands), where “interviewing” her and videoing the conversation, that is when she shared this. Sweet and kind, and practical and matter-of fact. I expected she would have responded, not in anger, but without feeling which I think is worse – to have no emotion. But she responded with love in her voice and you could tell in her mind reminiscing over fond memories. Love is a choice, that isn’t based on the actions of another person. I’ve heard it said that marriage is not 50/50, but 100/100. Both my grandmothers modeled this for us.
Phillis, What a precious memory and testimony to the love your grandmother had for your grandfather. Thank you for sharing!!
Oh wow how i needed to hear this today i am so guilty of bringing home the leftover me exhausted me and yes irritable me!!! Thank you for the encouragement…watch out family csuse tonight youre getting the BEST OF ME!!!
Thank you so much for this! We’ve been married for almost 34 years (in March) and are going through a family crisis, but through the bad times over the last year, we have become stronger together. This is a great way to look at how I can stay aware of how I treat my hubby…I am aiming for REFRESHING and NOT depressing! God is so good and some prayers that I have prayed over the last 30 years have been answered in the past year in the sweetest way. Have a blessed day!
Thank you for sharing this devotion. My husband and I are in a messy and hectic stage of life right now- lots of big decisions coming up along with the everyday stuff of life. I admit that he often sees my worst moods and I forget to do those little things to show my love. Thanks for the reminder to show the love of Christ in our marriages by putting the other person’s needs ahead of our own.
What a great post, when I first started to read it I thought it was something I would send to my nephew who recently left his wife and children. We have had conversations about how marriage is work and the ebbs and flows. Once I got into it, I saw it was truly speaking to me, having been married for 32 years and a recent empty nester, we are readjusting to our new life. I have a wonderful husband but I need to remember to refresh not depress. Thank you for this!
Oh Suzie, I’m so convicted, challenged, inspired and even excited about this. It’s as if you were talking to me directly. Thank you for speaking truth into us today.
As for something I’ve learned in marriage. The need, importance and the power of prayer. It will transform your marriage when you pray believing God hears and helps. I know when I’m / we’re struggling in our marriage it is always a spiritual issue. Something is not right in my fellowship with God and it has bled over into my marriage. So to my knees I must go and seek God’s loving wisdom to reveal “me” in the struggle. To repent, to listen to surrender. To stop pointing the finger and start clasping my hands in prayer.
It ALWAYS works when I seek Him with a sincere heart’s desire to love God first and to let His love be my love for my husband. It’s held together and strengthen our marriage for 39 years. To God be the glory.
Bunny, thank you for sharing, such God filled words!!
Pray for me.
I need to learn how to refresh…I’m definitely the opposite…sigh
Melinda, Lifting you up in prayer this morning for God to show you ways to speak words of refreshing.
I really enjoyed your post today. My husband is bipolar and the fall and winter months are difficult on us all. When he is not working his full time job, he is sleeping. I am finding it very difficult to connect with him when he feels like a stranger to me and our teenage girls . Prayer is a powerful thing to get through life and the struggles it throws at you.
Kathy, Lifting you, your husband and girls up in prayer this morning.
This is something that I struggle with on a daily basis. Due to the fact that my husband tends to procrastinate and wants to find short cuts, that I feel could sometimes not be the best idea solution, especially when it comes to repairs on our home/appliances. We have been married for 30 + years, and I truly love him dearly!! It is hard due to trust issues in this area of our marriage.
I struggle to find the balance in speaking positivity and speaking the truth in love, when it comes to these things. Please pray for me.
Dana, Lifting you up in prayer this morning, may God fill your heart and lips with words of gratitude and appreciation for your husband.
My husband and I have been married for over 17 years. Going thru a difficult time right now. His anger is drawing us apart and making me bitter. Please pray for us. Thank you
Donna, Lifting you and your husband up in prayer this morning for peace and unity in your marriage.
Praying for peace as you work through the difficult time you mentioned. I’m praying for God’s protection and grace in your marriage.
I love reading your devotions and others from Proverbs 31. The Unburdened Heart would be perfect for me, as I have been deeply hurt by someone I love, and am working through the process of forgiving so that I can be free to love them without resentment. I would love to win a free copy!
Nena, Lifting you up this morning , in prayer, as you seek the strength and courage to forgive and love fully. Be blessed today!!
Thank you for this refreshing reminder.
Thank you for sharing this. Some days I just skim over my Bible Study only reading the “high” points, but today I read every word of it. I have fibromyalgia & have many bad days & just do not feel like doing normal day-to-day activities much less anything extra! This made me realize that it takes very little effort or energy to write a loving note or send an encouraging text to my awesome, hardworking husband of 37 years. God Bless You!
Thank you so much for this reminder. Just having the phrase “am I refreshing or depressing?” is going to be such a help for me to remember that sometimes no words are needed, sometimes my husband just wants my silent support. Then, sometimes he needs so much more than just the teaspoon I have leftover for him at the end of the day. I’m so often guilty of this, thank you for your words of encouragement to save more for my husband than I’ve given everyone else.
Great reminders of how to be there for our spouse!
After almost 40 years of marriage sometimes we take each other for granted. Thank you for this refreshing article. Thank you for blessing and sharing what the Lord puts upon your heart. Prayers are needed for all marriages in this day and age thank you
Please pray for me!!
Joyce, Lifting you up in prayer this morning!!
Thank you for sharing these wise words about marriage! In every season of life, it’s important to be mindful & intentional about the way we think & act in our closest relationships. In the book Sacred Marriage (Gary Thomas), he reminds us that marriage is more about making us holy than happy.
Thank you for your post this morning.
It is a great reminder. I see areas where I tend to be “depressing” and not giving my husband the best.
You are absolutely right about marriage being hard! You are having to put others before yourself alot of the times! We will be rewarded on the end tho!!!
I really enjoyed your blog and how you explained the importance of sharing quality time with our loved ones. Being a pastors wife can sometimes can be hard, at times I feel like I get the left overs. My husband and I have talked about this and have made some changes. We have one day a week we go out to lunch together and spend time together, dedicated just for us. This has really refreshed our relationship; Balancing our time plays a huge part in staying emotionally health and being able to attend to our loved ones. Thank you for your post.
Please pray for me.
Kris, Lifting you up in prayer this morning!
This spoke directly to me. Me and my husband allowed kids, his work, and other things to come before our relationship for almost 17 years. It was only because of God and our commitment that we didn’t give up on each other. I prayed hard over the years for a miracle. Well finally a few days into 2018 after things had gotten really hard and I had surrendered everything to Him, I felt God tell me some things to do. One of those things was to go sit in my husbands lap. And I cannot tell you how God used that one simple act to start breaking down walls. And things have been improving ever since. I would love to win this Valentines Day giveaway because this is an important area for me and my husband as we continue to work on us and our relationship.
My husband of 31 years is struggling with many childhood issues. He moved out last May. I am an encourager by nature but my encouragement felt like too high of expectations to him I think. When I said I believe in you-you are this amazing person, he heard I’m not amazing and can’t ever be. I believe in a God of miracles and redemption so I’m expecting healing on both our parts! Please pray for me (us, our family)! I’ll take every petition all the time 😀
Gracious Heaenly Father you know the pain and heartache that Teri’s husband feels, you know every detail of his life and pain, I am asking that you reach down and touch him, melt the pain away and fill his heart with your unfailing love. Be with Teri as she waits for this miracle, comfort their children in this waiting time. Bring the reconciliation that can come from only you and bring Teri’s husband home. Remind them, Lord, of the love they have for each other. I thank you Lord for all you are doing despite what Teri sees with her eyes. We know you are working in the unseen world and are faithfull in all you do. In Jesus name, Amen
Thank you for your precious prayer. I believe that God hears and answers. Thank you for being a minister through prayer.
We’re in the exhausted parents of 4, overworked, financially struggling phase. Such a needed reminder to not give leftovers, get your eyes off yourself and refresh your spouse. I know my husband is discouraged and life isnt as planned, but we’re both “stuck” for good, we never talk of any other options-for ” better or worse”. So instead of making sure everyone knows what I missed out on or am “suffering “, I need to thank my husband for working so hard and caring for us. Thank you!
Your today’s message is so true and I can totally relate. As we come to our 55th year together, I can say it has been hard, we have had to work at it. Now I am a care giver, so it doesn’t necessarily get easier, each day is still a gift from God and it’s up to me to use it the best way can. It’s not all roses and chocolate, now I am happy with sunflowers and a beautiful moon and a new day to spend thanking God for the years we’ve had and the wonderful family He has blessed us with. Working hard was worth it!!!
Thank you for sharing this. I love that you said you give the best of you to your family, I try to do that as well. I am a therapist, so people get a lot of me all day long, but I need to save the “best of me” for my husband. This was very encouraging. PS: I like my husband, a lot, too and I have shared with younger women that this is one of the keys to a happy marriage.
Thank you for being transparent.
Pray for us!
Thank you and God bless your ministry.
Thank you for the inspiration.
Your story is so relatable. My hubby and I are so goofy together. No one sees this side of us. Why not?
Thank you for the reminder. I too find myself giving everyone else my best and leaving what’s left over to my husband. I am determined to make a turn around in that area of my life! Thanks Susie!
The changes in retirement, new move to area futher from our kids, who happend to still be in Michigan, a struggling elderly congreation. Physical changes in of itself. Just being with hubby 24 hrs daily, with different hobbies is different. We have our love, friendship, committment to one another. The demands of work have been, replaced. Digital world and availability with out time can interfere with our time. Aging itself can, easier to stay home at times, it is a chance to learn and do new things together, new skills, more time to do things together, went to soup kitchen for homeless together.
The world is changing its image . Political, news, have to turn off, listening to music. Being unable or limited Physically, closeness changes in ways, the touching, holding on, reaching out is mportmant. Does not change with time or aging, or an should not chanr. Working at, laughing together is so important, 24 hours totherness, dan more time for newness changes, along wit annoying notices of irritations, recognization more nnoticeable, is interesting, God already knows as so well, how he loves us, and he also needs our attention, hands and feet, our hearts, giving and reaching out to making a difference in our world, telling of his love sharing that love to others
I hope this not picture a sad situation, each phase of life is challenging, I am moving about, taking pictures, capturing God’s beautiful world, we bought a motor home, going to try traveling. Grandaughter is getting married, new home in Traverse city overlooking Lee Michigan. We have worked hard to be where we are.. Monetary does not bring happiness, it is a chance to give. To help with some one who needs a new furnace, a helping hans, a caring hand. A caring comment, a caring card, a warm meal.
Meeting new friends in new community is a challege, has to start with me, getting myself to volunteer, join women’s prayer group, helping at camera club, helping neighbors, guarding and working at togetherness with my soulmate, my husband. Everyyday, situation is ever changing. And so should we be changing, Adapting with one another, sharing yogether, laughing, learning, growing, helping, touching, sharing God’s love, it’s begins at home daily.
Definitely need to improve saving my best for my husband. Working all day and then starting my second job of mother, cook, maid when I get home is exhausting. My husband usually ends up with nothing or leftovers. Thanks for the reminder to try harder.
I believe there are so many of us who can identify with what you’ve said. Sometimes our husbands get short changed, and while we don’t mean for it to happen, it does. I pray that you are surrounded with an understanding husband and family who knows you are doing your best to fill many roles. I love your positive attitude and your willingness to want to do more for them. I’ll be praying for you in the days ahead.
First of all I wanted to say that marriage at any age is hard. My husband and I were 50 and 60 when we married and we have a lot of hard times. I would love prayer as I am going thru something’s right now with him that I thought by this time in my life I wouldn’t have to deal with. It is hard loving someone that is set in their ways and won’t try anything new. The encouragement is hard when you see things you have done in your life unfolding out again and you want to help but the other persons mind is shut to help. I have learned by reading this that I need to just let him do his thing and just be there and offer advice. I do sometimes tend to be critical and I say I’ve been there and I know what will happen so I want to spare us the hurt and pain of it. Sometimes he needs that to happen to understand….Please pray for me is all I can say.
Thank you for sharing today. You are right about marriage being a work in progress–two people, who each bring their perspective, the way they do things, what they like, and what they don’t and try to mesh all of it together. My husband and I have been married almost 37 years, but there is an 11 year age difference, so they are some things we have to work through. While we don’t always like the same things or agree on everything, we are respectful of each other and love each other deeply. You’ve already mentioned a few areas that you feel need attention and that is huge sweet friend. I’ll be praying for both of you to be thoughtful with your words and respectful of each others feelings as you work to create the best possible marriage and partnership. Continue to find those things you like to do together and enjoy them. I will continue to pray for you daily as you seek God’s word to help you work through the tough places.
My husband and I are both physically challenged and daily in some pain. It would be very easy to give into complaining but we do just the opposite. Out of necessity we have truly become each others helpmate. My husband lost some fingers about a year ago and needs help with simple day to day things like buttoning sleeve cuffs, and I willingly help him in these little tasks. I have chronic fatigue and knee pain and can’t always get things done but he never complains. I must admit that when we first started life together, in 2001,I was pretty cantankerous and stubborn. I thank God my husband saw something in me that caused him to love me despite the pain and hurt that needed healing. Today, through many years of time in God’s Word, Bible Study and prayer I am a changed woman and that has caused the most beautiful marriage I could ask for. We are not perfect but we are perfect together. I have been blessed to see you and Richard together, Suzie and I can see the love you both have for each other-it’s sweet and refreshing to all who are able to witness it.
I love you, Nancy. I can not imagine you being “cantankerous.” ❤️
Please pray for me and my husband. Thank you!
“Pray for me.”
I’m not married but I can still relate to this subject…I think that you could apply this lesson to valued friendships also. Not to mention the fact that I have a married friend that is feeling depleted and I am going to use this to “refresh” her. Thank you. I don’t know why it amazes me when Words/Lessons just appear at the right time…Thanks be to the Lord.
Thanks so much for the encouragement today. I need to give my best to my family as well not just the leftovers. This is such a great reminder. I need to be more present. Please pray for my husband and I we have been thru sooo many ups and downs in our marriage. Also a lot of hurt as well. Thank you. May the Lord Our God bless you and your family always.
pray for me. This marriage has been so hard…I think my husband has Asperger’s but of course back then it was never tested for. I just keep praying that God will give me strength and teach me to love him the way he needs loved.
Please pray for my daughter’s marriage
Thank you so much for sharing. I never want to be depressing. The Bible says we are to be encouragers. In marriage we are one flesh. If we hurt our spouses we’re hurting ourselves. My husband and I have been married 25 years and we’ve had our share of troubles. I give all the glory to God in helping us along the way. When it comes down to it, it’s our relationship with the Lord. When we are right with the Lord, our relationship with others will be right. My husband is my best friend and he truly loves me as Christ loves. I love him (my husband)as we summisively give our lives to Christ. During a time of trials in our marriage, I relied on what God says about marriage.
Please pray for David and me.
Lord, thank you for Lynn reaching out for prayer for her and David. I am not sure what is taking place in their relationship but you do. Place wisdom, guidance, and love in their communication with one another. We thank you so much for always knowing what is best for you children. I lift this in your hands of love. Amen
This sweet post was a perfect refresher for me today. Our family is in need of prayers during a trying season. Positive, affirming ideas such as these go a long way to heal the hurts we are encountering. Thank you, Suzi!
Forgiveness is a constant process
Thank you for giving a little window into your life and vulnerability. I struggle with forgiveness and encouragement. Having a lifetime of abuse before my husband brings a set of trials for sure. God has so blessed me with a man so patient and so unconditionally loving that it’s hard to accept at times. It’s always easier to flip the negative, takes work to stay positive and be refreshing. I will work much harder at being the support and giving him the best of me. Your letter today really touched my heart, just what I needed.
Thank you for being you, being real and sharing, I’m sure you touched many lives!
Thank you for your encouragement today and every day.
Thank you for the sweet reminders to speak refreshing words, to be a breath of fresh air in our loved ones lives. My husband and I leave a small notepad on the kitchen counter. We write short, simple but refreshing and loving words to each other. It starts our day on a positive note.
Thank you so much for these encouraging word. We are going through terrific stress with a family matter right now and it is so easy to get so caught up that there is no time or energy left for each other. This year is our 50th wedding anniversary – where did the years go. Need to make this a special time.
Thank you for this article. I have not been in a serious relationship in over 15 years and recently have met a wonderful man sent straight from God and I can’t remember being this happy. I am determined to work at this relationship to make it the best it can be! 🙂
This is a timely article for me. One way I can be refreshing is to stop talking at night and let my hubby go to sleep earlier! He gets so tired out through the work week. I know there are several things I can to do be a refreshing part of his day. My love on an every-day basis is a lot more important to him than any special days.
Pray for me.
Father, Whatever Cathy is struggling with I lift her up to You. You know her needs and her struggles. May she have the faith to reach for you, may she feel your strength and power, may this trial bring her closer to you and provide an understanding of your love. Almighty God, creator, and healer. I pray you give her peace. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen
Communicating positives at least as much if not more than negatives has been huge for us as we transition into parenthood
Great read this morning. We both married young but it was because GOD sent us each the right man with the right values to sustain our marriages for the long haul. It is hard work daily to remember that who you fell in love with is still there with you and to remain open to this love every day. Here is to 2018 and our joint celebration to 40 years of marriage. We are the lucky few!
Thank you for these encouraging words… there is hope and this post is helpful for me in this season of marriage. Please pray for me and my husband. Thank you again.
Father, I am so happy Heather received hope from Suzie’s words this morning. Father in this season of marriage may she speak encouragement and love. I pray you surround this couple with your love. May Heather reach for you before the negative starts and may she stand proudly in your truths in this season. I pray in Jesus’ name, Amen
Thank you for posting these blogs. It makes my day!!! When I read your posts I feel as if I’m REFRESHED, my life can be RESTARTED, and that I am READY to take on any challenge that comes my way.
Please Pray for me and my marriage!!
There are no guarantees in marriage.
My husband had an industrial accident in 2003, I noticed some subtle changes in him. Condescending remarks, backhanded compliments became common. Then he had a stroke in 2013. Things became ugly,Verbally. I said hurtful things back also. Hating myself for it.
My family is split in two. Money issues, Propterty issues. Such a heartbreak, mess and could have ended diffeeent. Pray for my family.
Heather, I know how the ugly remarks a loved one says because they are angry at difficulties and pain they live with every day. It is a heartbreak that shuts the door in our hearts with a slam. I understand the difficulty to forgive and give back. I am so happy you followed Suzie’s post today. Father, Heather, and her husband are in a season that seems to never end. I lift them up to you. You know the depth of their love, anger, and heartbreak, May disabilities turn in to testimonies of your love. May hearts be softened so they can see beyond the hurt. I know that you can heal their hearts because you healed mine and Flip’s. Father, I thank you for your love and your love for this couple. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen
Father, I stand with Lynn today, asking that you wrap around her and comfort her. Bring joy back into her life, Father. Pour out your Spirit over her. As a woman, I weep with her over this unwanted turn of events, and I know you do as well, Lord. May she sense you closer than ever before, in Jesus’ name.
Early on in our marriage my husband was taking classes towards his master’s degree in the evenings after work. I decided that it did not matter how late it got to be, we would eat dinner together. We had dinner at 10 o’clock or after some nights, but we ate together. Another thing I’ve done is to always get up and see him off to work, even after I quit my job to stay at home with the kids. A kiss goodbye in the morning and a kiss goodnight before going to sleep is reassuring to both of us.
Thank you for this blog and for the devotional which led me here. I really need to unburden myself to rejoice fully in all God has provided for me and my family. My husband and I have been separated since 2015. Can’t agree for a divorce even though he has taken up residence and purchased a home for the woman he has been living with since 2015. I can’t move forward I feel stuck because I feel every kindness I try to afford him on behalf of our children in common he does something really awful and terrible as a response. The law forces communications because we have young children together but there’s no co patenting happening only insults and curses towards me covered by him saying kids somewhere in the emails so I can’t challenge them in the courts. Thank you for any prayers on behalf of me and my children.
Lord, I pray with Meme over this hurtful situation. I pray for wisdom and direction. For your protection and hand over her children. I pray for wise boundaries and Holy-Spirit direction and counsel over Meme’s heart and thoughts. Cover her. Lead her. Show her your will and your love. In Jesus’ name.
You have my heart & prayers
This is a great post for me right now that things are really in a dark place right now. This can be applied to any relationship I know I have not been refreshing in my darkest days especially in my relationships with my 14 year old son or my best guy friend or the family I have been staying with while we wait on our housing to come through. I battle everyday to see the positive when we keep getting knocked down and the devil is in my face
You have my heart & prayers
Thank you for your post. I appreciate the ideas you give on how to bless my husband and those around me.
When I was in high school I had a teacher tell us, “Marriage is not a 50/50 relationship. It is a 100/100 relationship.” Having gone through 2 divorces and living in a 23 year marriage, I have discovered she was right. Marriage is not a give and take; it is a give and give. I must give 100% of myself to my spouse and he must also give 100% of himself. We must enjoy each other, support each other, and sometimes correct each other. All done in the love, strength, and grace of the Lord. No it is not always easy, but with God all things are possible. Thanks for the reminder. May God bless you and Richard as you minister to one another and to those God places in your path.
Thanks for giving us a chance to win
The 3 questions are very helpful.
What a blessing this is! It would be so nice to sit and learn from you!
I am so thankful for what you shared today about your marriage and all the things you have and is still doing to refreshen your marriage. I did what you talked about with my now ex husband of 20yrs, but it never stopped him from criticizing me, calling me horrific names, punishing me, lying to me or abandoning me when I became ill and could no longer work. I’ve been praying for the last 10yrs to forgive him and I have to admit that it’s one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do. When I believe I’m close to finally getting there, he will hurt one of our daughters or both of them and I will sit on the phone and listen to them cry out in pain. I believe in God and I trust him with all that I am. I’m ashamed to admit that I’m having this problem, but I’m also happy that’s it’s not a secret anymore, so the devil can’t use it against me anymore. I pray God will always bless your marriage your family and that he will keep his hedge of protection around all of you at all times. God Bless
Theodosia, you have been on the hurtful side of depressing and negative and abuse. I’m so sorry about that. Praying with you today for wisdom, for joy that comes only from God, for boundaries wrapped in truth and strength and wisdom that doesn’t allow evil to have its way. Praying for your girls. Praying that God arrests this man in his tracks, showing him the error of his ways and drawing him to the foot of the cross. In Jesus’ name, amen.
PRAY FOR ME! Both of your writings today have PERFECTLY hit the nail of the head. You have described majority of our main, most affective marital issues. To a “T”!
Father, I lift Courtney up to you I can see your love surrounding hear, your power and your love. Father, you are the healer of our hearts. May she stand in your truth and bring abundant love into her marriage. May she see her pain as your opportunity to love. May she rest in your peace. In Jesus’ name. Amen
You have my heart & prayers
Thank you for sharing your story. I too feel our lives get caught up in the busyness. This was a great reminder to humble myself, re-group and focus on giving the best of me to my husband and children. I want them to have the best of me and to feel loved when they think of me. I’ve noticed when I’m “refreshing” for my loved ones their smiles and gaining a sense of security gives me happiness.
Thank you for your post. I needed to read this today! My husband and I have been married for 40 years and it seems here lately that every little thing he says and does just goes against the grain!!! Thanks again !!!
I have been single much longer than I was married. I wish it was the other way around. I waited to get married until I was ready emotionally which meant in my 30’s. Unfortunately, I chose the wrong man. I didn’t realize this until about our 3rd year of marriage. I was growing spiritually and he was going in the other direction. He was trying hard to pull me down with him. He became verbally and emotionally abusive. That only made me stronger in my faith. By the end of our 5 year marriage, the physically abuse began and that’s when I knew I had to get out. I tried everything I could think of to make our marruage work but it takes two people. I learned alot from that time and I grew alot spiritually. I am now divorced 10 years and am more aware of what I am looking for in a future spouse. Hopefully I will find him and we can grow spiritually together.
I too am so rhankful for this post and very timely reminder …… We are 38 years into our marriage and I’d love to say it gets easier, but that wouldnt be true …… I still need prayer and grace and timely reminders like this today !
Thank you !
Thank you for this blog. I’m not married but I still found the advice about being refreshing instead of discouraging useful. I live with some people that can be depressing and critical. This advice is helpful.
Fantastic reminder of things I know but forget to walk out! 48 years of marriage, 5 children and 18 grands, we can tend to let things with our spouse be pushed aside and be put on the back burner. I sure needed this reminder!! Thank you. Blessings
I loved this post. I’m not very refreshing and gave me things to ponder about.
Thank you for the love & wisdom in your words. I pray that each person responding to your post will know the joy of having God active within all of their relationships – especially a marriage.
My marriage is still not fixed. My husband left almost 2 years ago, and we’re still in a place of indecision. I’ve learned a lot, and I know what I’d do different. I may never get another chance. I’ve come here often for encouragement, and when I needed it most I received words of encouragement and love. Thank you for giving me that.
Please pray for me and my marriage.
Praying that God helps you
Please pray for me. For Us. Thisnhit
Me right between the eyes. Bless you for being willing to let God speak through you to me!
Thank you for writing this Suzie! I needed this reminder!
I needed to hear this. I, too often, choose depressing rather than refreshing and life-giving. Thanks for the reminder that I have a choice!
Love this. What a great reminder
Prsise God for this great article. My dear husband and I have been married for 40 years, and we love to tell those in our “FAMILY LIFE “ MARRIAGE CLASSES we hold in our home, praying nightly, with your spouse is THE CEMENT that holds you together , like nothing else can! Dr. Dobsons,”NIGHTLIGHT” is a winner! As devotional books go ,Turn off the tv & cell phone and look to Jesus , for 5 minutes at the end of each night, he invented marriage, his bluebook has all the answers, btw!! He You can’t afford NOT to!
God bless your marriages! In Jesus precious name!
Please pray for us! We are in a very hard spot and a really bad season. I’m on the verge of a very life altering change and a huge descision to make determining if we are worth it.
Dear Savior, I pray for Leiann as she seeks guidance and wisdom from you in a difficult decision. I thank you for her reaching out and asking for prayer. Remind her she is never alone and you love her so much. Amen
Marriage is tough ,since the 1st week into my second marriage it’s been tough & rough it’s going on 4yrs on July 26 that I’ve been remarried til this day it’s been a bumpy road .
Can’t wait to see the day of our break through from financially ,without having transportation & our own place to call home . God has been my strength daily in order for me to stand with my head held high . 🙏🏼🙏🏼
Thank you for this devotional, it really spoke to my heart in this busy season I fond myself in!!
Even though I am separated, a choice that was not mine, I was happy to read this. Let me not forgot that this is a new season in my life and I get to bring joy, happiness and love to everyone, whether I am married or not! I love my former husband, regardless of his choices. I may not like him very much, lol, or what he did, but I have to give glory to God for getting me through the roughest time in my life these past 3 years AND for giving me the 24 he and I had. Even the last 3 years that were miserable, taught me valuable lessons that I will take with me and make the next relationship God picks for me even better. Pray for my former husband, he needs to open his heart to the Lord, there is nothing better for him the all the prayers we can send up. Loved this post. Love love love it!
The message I read today was so true,we often take our best selves to our jobs, to a ministry and friends and then we bring our used up broken selves home irritated used up and unavailable. Thank you I needed this message today. I need to be refreshing to my husband in my marriage.
Thanks again, this message is really needed in the body of Christ!
I’m single – but I can apply it to loving my children.
Thank you Suzie for your encouraging words. My husband and I have a blended family which makes it extremely challenging at times and difficult to concentrate on ourselves (due to custody and ex spouse issues). I think the key to our refreshing marriage is not repeating what we did in our previous marriages. We both have learned to balance our priorities and to keep our marriage a priority. By doing this we always kiss each other goodnight (when he is not traveling for business), be good listeners, bite our tongues (which can be difficult for me), find the positive in a negative situation, have “our” date night, try not to hold resentments, admit when we are wrong and apologize, compliment one another, and when things get off balance, we always remember to come back to the place we started at when we first fell in love……..and above all, keep God first. ~Lisa~
Lisa, such a great outlook and intentional steps to keep a healthy marriage. ❤️
I am divorced & will use this to love my children more.
I love the story about the older couple at the hospital. Also, Refreshing vs. Depressing…how very true that one can choose to go in either direction.
I think that sums up a lot of the positive and negative that happens in any relationship.
Very inspirational about everyday life….THANK YOU!!!)
Please pray for us
Dear Father, I lift Malin up to you. She is your precious daughter and you love her dearly. You understand and know her request for prayer. Please wrap your loving arms around Malin and remind her she is not alone. In Jesus name we pray, Amen.
I try to said I love every day to my best friend my husband and to thank him for be with me and to thank him too for little acts / Actions of love
I found this post very challenging and encouraging!
Thank you for the reminder Suzie I really needed this my husband needs my best efforts not whatever I have left over at the end of the day and not after I give everyone else my best😄
What about past regrets from a divorce, when you’re left wondering if what you did by leaving or giving up was right in God’s eyes? Could I have done more?
Lori, don’t go there in your mind. If you did all that you could and you know you did so with a loving pure heart and it did not work out, then you cannot blame yourself. If your divorce was a matter of protecting yourself or children from abuse then you needed to leave. If the divorce was because of something you did you have to go to the Lord and ask for forgiveness, repent and give yourself to Him. I am going through this right now. I was sitting here reading old emails of me begging and crying for my former husband to just fight for us! But you can’t make someone love you and I never wanted a divorce. I wanted him and I wanted him equal to me morally and most importantly spiritually. We were not in agreement on that and he stepped out. My heart is clean because God knows I did all that I could and He set me free.
Thank you for the amazing insights! I am a newlywed, we have blended familis. It is more like a crock-pot than a blender!! I prayed for 12 years for God to give me a man who loved God more than me! God exceeded my prayers! I write love notes and appreciation notes on our bathroom mirror and I write scriptures on our bathroom walls…yes on the walls! It reminds us that our promise in marriage is to Christ!
I’ve recently learned from a close friend and her husband, the value of showing physical affection to your spouse through kissing, hugging and checking in. They also have several photos of each other loving on one another and having fun together all over their house. Wow, what a great witness of the importance of showing love in your marriage!
Thank you for your words and message. I learned a long time ago that we are never promised tomorrow, so my hubby and I and our children always tell each other what is most important – even if things aren’t going well. We send each other out to whatever our days may hold with an “I love you” and a prayer that God will watch over every one of us.
Loved the article! Too often I have spent it all on work or kids and have nothing left for the man that I love the most! I have always been the “good girl and daughter” so took me several years to conclude that I am not the perfect one in this relationship and I had to accept my flaws and own my faults! Marriage is two that become as one in Christ!
I loved this post. Thank you so very much. I needed especially the focus on refreshing the one I love. My marriage has some distinct challenges right now – my husband is incarcerated because someone lied about him, and the jury chose to believe the lie. As much as we would like to believe our justice system is just, it is painfully flawed – but that is not the topic of this post/ comment. My problem, especially now, is how to refresh and uphold him, how to respect him as my husband/head, when he cannot practically do that role. How to be independent in the practical and the team emotionally. Thank you for the reminder to focus on refreshing and uplifting, for Jesus’ sake.
Pray for me. My marriage is not well.
After 40 years of marriage, I sometimes think this should be easy. It is wonderfully easy at times, but still really hard at others. Mostly I want to treasure every moment. When we are facing difficulties, I try to remind myself how much more difficult it would be without him. Then it is easier to be a team.
I like this refreshing or depressing, I want to pick refreshing. And I don’t like the comparisons, and accusations about, you call yourself a Christian. I have had to stand up for myself. There have to boundaries and balances.
Beautiful article! In May Bill and I will celebrate 38 years together along our journey of love and life. One of the things that gives us both comfort is reflecting back on a time early in our marriage that was very tough. Knowing that together we had made it through, with God’s grace, it became a wonderful reminder for us as we faced other challenges, big and small, throughout the years. During times when I may not have known what to say, I remembered the advice of a good friend, “Just say the most loving thing!”
Such beautiful and encouraging words, Suzie. David and I will have been married 44 years this year, and you would think after all that time together we would have it all lined out and perfect by now! But, oh not so! He’s going through a Health Challenge right now that is really getting him down. It’s been over a month and he’s so done with it because it’s restricting what he can do and he is used to doing anything and everything all day. What a wonderful reminder that I need to be refreshing for him so that we can get through this together. Normally I am a positive person with the glass half-full, but this is challenging for me too. But I know God will get us through! In sickness and in health, right? God bless you and Richard in your life together and I am so thankful I have found your blog and books!
Suzie, I appreciate this devotion. Being engaged, and soon to be married, I value wisdom from others. I would love to win your book, for this purpose alone. I love what you say about “refreshing or depressing.” Wow, that really sums it up. Our presence speaks volumes. I want people to leave after being with me, feeling refreshed. That’s a personal and spiritual goal! Especially my loved ones. My fiancé and I are currently in that season of big decisions and big next steps – planning a wedding, a house, etc. He gets overwhlemed easily by finances, so it makes it a little stressful at times. As you mentioned, I know how important it is to fuel our relationship with love and positivity, not allowing these stress points to interfere. Your wisdom on all of this, and that of others on this blog, is welcomed!
This was a great devotion. I really loved what you said aboutthe older couple. I also really liked what you said about forgiveness. Many years I have not talked to my only living sister and I know I need to forgive her for the hurt she has caused me,but I am having a hard time in picking up the phone and calling her. Our parents are deceseased and our sister and brother are deceased,so we only have each other. Please pray for me. Thanks. And I would love to have a copy of your new book. Again,thanks.
Please pray for me and my marriage.
This was a great post. I liked what you said about the questions that bring the focus to include the man you love in the battle.
Please pray for me. I’m 7 years past a divorce (32 years in a bad marriage to an unfaithful husband). God has blessed me with a lot of healing, emotionally and spiritually. Now I’m in a new relationship to a sweet Christian man, who is also recovering from a divorce where his wife was unfaithful. It’s hard to be dating at age 62. We’re working to be open and honest, and to not bring old baggage into this relationship.
Love this! Thank you for opening up your heart and sharing your wisdom. Love you!
I needed to read this. Thank you so much. We have been married almost 42 years. We have been very blessed. My only complaint is we do not talk enough. He is the quiet one. I know he loves me unconditionally but I yearn for more communication. We can always use your prayers.
We have been married for 30 years and what I have learned is that communication is key to making a marriage strong. And I believe all marriages should include three, God, husband and wife. We went through a very hard time in our marriage when my husband turned away from God and stopped talking to me. It almost tore us a part. With prayer and therapy we where able to put our marriage back together and we love each other very much. But the work must continue and be a daily thing. It pays off in the long run.
I’ve been married 27 years and one thing I’ve learned is not to sweat the small stuff. I used to get angry over every little thing. Now, I don’t and I am more refreshing. It’s freeing in a way. I don’t feel love I have to stay on his case about every little thing.
Pray for my marriage
Father, we praise You. You alone are worthy of that praise and we trust You to keep Your promises. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Father, in that faithfulness I know You know the needs my sister Marisa has for her marriage. Meet those needs according to Your will today Father. Let her feel Your touch upon her heart reminding her that You have her and her marriage. Whatever the need is, please do the work in both of them that is needed to bring their marriage to the place You and they desire it to be. All to Your honor glory and praise. In Jesus name Amen
We will celebrate 20 years in May. It has not always been easy, but if you make God the center, He will bring though stronger than ever.
Thank you for this post! I pray that the spirit will help me chose refreshing in my marriage and recognize when I might be choosing depressing so I can turn from it.
Thank you, sometimes we go through rough passages in our lives. Right now it’s been hard on us, two beautiful teenage boys; but each with their very unique needs, my ailling mom whom came to live with us and why not be honest the tediousness of everyday life can come in and shake our foundation. I’m tired and cranky, not a good combination, but don’t want to be depressing. Thank you for a peek into your life. God bless you.
Father, thank You for Your faithfulness to hear our prayers and to meet our needs. I lift my sister Gabriela to you and ask that You would empower her, strengthen her, imspire her and to feel Your unfailing love for her through this time in her life. The journey can be so wearisome Lord, I know You understand that and with Your heart of compassion for Gabriela and her family I pray You will renew a restful spirit and a joyful heart within her. Her needs are many but oh how You are there to help her. Thank You. Speak in her and through her now Father with words of refreshing to her soul that it spills over and out of her to her husband and family. In Jesus name Amen
Please pray for me. I know that Love is more than a feeling; it is a sacrifice and sometimes being in a place you don’t want to be. I’ve been in that place for many years now. I want to honor and glorify God in my commitment but I need the Holy Spirit to help me be refreshing even when my husband can says words that are not. Thank you in advance.
Lord, it is so easy to be caught up in the ache of our hearts and somehow speak words that we really don’t want to speak. Sometimes our service to You through our surrender to our desire to meet our husband’s desire can feel overwhelmingly lonely. But Father, through it all You carry us. I know You are carrying my dear sister Karen right now too. You have a plan and a purpose that maybe has yet to be revealed to her, so please with tenderness touch her heart today with a new spark of hope, excitement and dreams. Empower her with Your Spirit to be refreshing to her husband no matter what because she knows she speaks from a heart that longs to honor You. May her love feel less like a sacrifice and more like a privilege to be Your vessel of grace and mercy. Let her’s and her husband’s heart unite and beat as one with the very heartbeat of God. Use them to inspire others of what You can do in a marriage. Thank You for Your faithfulness. In Jesus name Amen
Please pray for me, my husband, and our two grown children.
Thank you, Suzie, and God bless you.
Lord, Father, I lift to You my sister Mary Jean. You already know the needs and already have the answer to solving the issues. So please reveal with clarity Your answers to Mary Jean and strengthen what is weak, empower what feels powerless. Draw near what is far away and fill up what is empty in their marriage and family. You are the hope and the everlasting love of this family. Bond them so tightly that nothing can ever tear them apart because You are the glue that holds them together. Thank You for Your faithfulness. Thank You for Your love for this family. In Jesus name Amen
Thank you, Suzie. I am making the choice to be refreshing – and not give everything to the office!
Suzie, I love this. After 32 years of marriage on Valentine’s Day we are still growing, forgiving, learning and growing. We always need prayer and God’s grace to get through each day. Thank you for speaking your love to us.
Marriage is hard. Life is hard. As you stated, we have a choice. It takes work from both parties but it can be so rewarding. At the end of the day all I want is to be snuggled up next to my husband, talk about our day and fall asleep together. Every young couple needs to read todays devotion to realize, it isn’t a fairy tale but two people trying to meld two lives into one.
Please pray foir us. The weight of past failures continues to pull us down. And life is so hard. I loved the idea of refreshing vs depressing. I fear that all too often I have been depressing…But will work on refreshing now. Thanks for your ibsights.
Father, dear loving Father, how easy it is for us to focus on our weaknesses and failures and yet how beautiful it is that You remind us that in those times, through You, we are strongest. My sister Julie has a heavy heart for her marriage, please lighten her load and whisper to her heart that You are still in control and nothing is impossible with You. Show her how to be refreshing to her husband and tender his heart to receive it. Your peace, joy and tender unconditional love be the badge upon their hearts as You draw them closer to You and to one another. Thank You for Your faithfulness. In Jesus name Amen
Please pray for me and my marriage. I will be married 23 years in April, and it has been a very hard road. I have wanted to leave a few time since my children left home, but the Lord lets me know that I have to stay. My Husband is a good person, but is very insure and immature, so it is like living with a child instead of a partner. I am far from perfect, because I just shut down and detach myself from our marriage.
My daughter will be graduating in May, and was supposed to come home for a couple of years to save money before going out on her own. She just let us know that after graduation, she will remain in Arizona and move to the Phoenix area. Sad to say, Iwas vry dissapointed. i was looking forward to doing things with her. I realized that somhow while she has been in college, I had started to depend on her being my buddy instead of my Husband. He does not like to talk much, so i am not sure how we are going to get this marriage where it needs to be.
OH Father, I feel every beat of my dear sister’s heart as she aches for her marriage. You know the details, You know the hearts of both of them and I am confident that You will do whatever it will take to draw them close again. I pray Pam will rest upon Your promises and hold to Your truth that You love her and her husband and You are the bond that ties them together. Hold her close Father and give her wisdom to love without condition, to serve with passion and to embrace the memories of her love for her husband. Tender his heart to feel hers and respark the flame of compassion, tenderness, and desire back into their marriage. Nothing is impossible with You. I’ve seen you do it in my marriage, please do it in Pam’s. In Jesus name Amen
Thank you for these words of encouragement!
Pray for my marriage, please
Father, I’m coming to You to lift up my sister Denise. You know the need, the issues she is concerned about and You have the answers to all of it. So Father, infuse her with Your peace and fill her with Your wisdom to know how to be the woman and the wife You want her to be as she seeks Your guidence for her marriage. Strengthen their love and tighten their bond and unite their lives as one in You. Thank You Father for hearing and for blessing my dear sister. You are faithful. In Jesus name Amen
Pray for me. So glad to be part of this. 14 years of marriage and for me the hardest is balanced. As the Lord increase the women needs around me balance becomes an issue. So pleased pray for me to balance it all. Thank you all so much. Love you.
Oh Lord, there is no one that understands our need for balance more than You. I know You know the heart of my sister Pandora and how she longs to serve You and to keep first things (people) first that need to be while doing the work You’ve called her to do. Give her clarity and discernment as she seeks a life of balance. You are so faithful. Thank You Father. In Jesus name Amen
Hi Suzie, my husband and I are not on the same page on many different issues, small and large. It has been this way for all 17 years of our marriage. I am praying God will bring us together on the same page with a few of our issues this year. Love this post!
What a great post! When we seem to be on opposite sides of an issue and I am annoyed I always remind him -and myself- that we are on the same side in our marriage even if we don’t agree on something! The devil likes to throw wrenches in marriages and sometimes we need that reminder!
One thing God showed me about marriage: Be kind and helpful to one another, tender-hearted [compassionate, understanding], forgiving one another [readily and freely], just as God in Christ also forgave you.EPHESIANS 4:32 AMP
Sometimes I think of myself more highly than I should. I forgot that I was too in need of Christ’s forgiveness- I am not perfect. I have a choice to be tender-hearted and forgiving, or I can choose unforgiveness and harden my heart towards my spouse. I get to choose!
This is a great reminder. My husband is so gracious that I often don’t give him my best attention. Thanks for this article!
Great article. Thanks Suzie for the reminder of how we often give and give to others with so little left for our husband. True confession for me. I’ve spent so many years focused on parenting, teaching bible studies, leading mission trips overseas and more.. thinking that I was pleasing God in a life of service. I thought my man would be okay as we lived parallel lives with such an outward focus. BUT GOD… in His mercy, has opened our eyes to see how vital it is to prioritize loving our marriage partners. Keep sharing Suzie.
I agree each marriage is unique and you often feel you are on the battlefield. Through our years of being married my husband and I have found our biggest obstacle is not knowing how to communicate, therefore we have hidden within ourselves. Sometime ago we had to decide for the first time if we were really in this for life, if so we needed to learn how. After many stilted conversations we agreed to get some help to learn how to talk to each other. This is an ongoing practice and takes a lot of courage on both our parts, but we do it.
Through the hurt I have learned to walk away and pray to God thanking him that though I can do nothing here, HE can and I leave it. There are other times I am hurting but after time with our father he will show me what I have done and I have to ask my husband for forgiveness. There are times when he speaks truth and I just have to get over myself.
All in all marriage is an ongoing commitment, a time of digging deeper and knowing the promise wasn’t easy times but loving unconditionally. God has called me to partner with this man and he knows what he is talking about.
My husband and I are coming out of a long season of struggles. We’ve been married 20 years and he is a recovering alcoholic. He is almost 5 months sober and we are finally getting to our marriage. Learning how to hon stay support one another and heal. Forgiveness for me is so hard towards m husband. I pray for God’s help so that can have the marriage God intended for us!
Marriage and relationships are tough. It’s so easy to get caught up in myself. But it’s the little things that matter most and day to day. Thank you for the reminders.
This was meant to be said to remind me of:
1.How much I love my husband
2. How I forget to let him feel the actual love I have for him.
3. I forget that we do work better as a team then me carrying it all myself. Dennis does that as well to protect me as I worry and make myself sick physically.
4. Being stuck in the label game…finally have my pill regimen in control and I have finally gotten the right mindset to stop and logically think before opening my mouth. I am excited to be on this train of change and working on self through self-help reading and applying what I learn.
I love reading books about marriage and ways to improve my relationship with my husband. I hope to win this basket. I love books and you are such an encouraging writer to share God’s words. Thank You!
This post really touched my heart. Too often my husband does get my leftovers. Thank you for this reminder. Working on my positive list now.
Duane and I have been married 42 years and your post really helped put it all in perspective. I would love to receive the basket and book to find out more tips. Thanks Patsy
Wonderful! Touched several places that I have been struggling with for several years. How many times has my husband got the teaspoon? Yes we all need to refreshing! Thank you.
Pray for me. My marriage is really hurting and I am trying to b refreshing but it’s hard especially when the other party is very prideful. I really enjoy your blogs
Father, we come to you today and ask for help. Show Dawn what to do, and hold her close. Soften this man’s heart to you and toward his loved ones. Thank you that we are not alone in these hard places.